It's been an uphill battle for General Motors ever since it released the Chevrolet Volt into the wild back in late 2010. From being a political punching bag to a few batteries that inexplicably caught fire a short while after crash testing, GM has gone up to bat for the Volt on numerous occasions. But it's still fighting hard to lower costs by up to $10,000 to grow more popular with customers and more profitable for Chevrolet.
"That’s our goal," General Motors chief executive officer Dan Akerson told Bloomberg. "Every new technology takes a while to get traction, you’ve got to work out all of the associated issues."
GM sunk hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars into development costs for the Chevrolet Volt and sees the shortest way to get into the black is by making the Volt more affordable to the masses. The Volt's price has always been a point of contention for those who consider buying one, as they like the fuel economy it returns but everything else just feels like it's lacking on your investment. You can pick up a 2013 Chevrolet Volt for $39,995, and that's before the $7,500 tax credit the United States government has been doling out to spur plug-in sales. Even still, with less than three years on the assembly line, the Volt has fallen way short of GM's projected 500,000 units sold by 2017.
Yes, the Volt still has four years to hit that goal, but at its current pace, it would be incredibly difficult. During its first two years on sale, the Chevrolet Volt has managed to muster just under 40,000 units sold. However, Volt sales have been on the rise in the U.S. over the first three months of 2013. So far, Chevy has managed to move 4,244 Volts, an 8.4-percent increase over the same time period last year.
So how does GM plan on move more Volts? According to Akerson, the plan is to reduce the its production costs by $7,000 to $10,000 without removing any features.
"We know we have to reduce costs," Akerson said to Bloomberg. "We’ve got to look at smart ways at getting it better positioned from a price perspective and that means we’ve got to take cost out of it."
The next-generation Volt is due out sometime in either 2015 or 2016, and we expect to see Akerson's plan to spring into action. Stay tuned.
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